Effective environmental management depends on a detailed knowledge of the distribution of species. But taxonomists are in short supply, and some species can be difficult to identify, even for experts. Eawag, in collaboration with Canton Zurich, is now pursuing a new approach for species identification, requiring no more than samples of DNA shed into the environment.
Switzerland has reinforced its commitment to climate protection in developing countries as part of international cooperation. The Federal Council today decided to contribute USD 100 million to the initial capitalization of the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Geo.admin.ch, the geoportal of the Swiss Confederation has again achieved a significant award as an eGovernment program. The map viewer map.geo.admin.ch is ranked 1st in the category «Swiss ICT Public Award» at the Swiss ICT Awards. Those awards have been issued by the swissICT, the most important representative of the ICT-workplace Siwtzerland and at the same time the biggest professional association of the industry.
As glaciers increasingly melt in the wake of climate change, it is not only the landscape that is affected. Thawing glaciers also release many industrial pollutants stored in the ice into the environment. Now, within the scope of a Swiss National Science Foundation project, researchers from the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), Empa, ETH Zurich and the University of Berne have measured the concentrations of a class of these pollutants – polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) – in the ice of an Alpine glacier accurately for the first time. The measurements reveal that the PCB levels in the atmosphere have decreased since the 1970s thanks to the meanwhile global ban on PCBs. Through the progressive melting of the glaciers, however, this residual waste risks being released back into the atmosphere.